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Everything posted by Riley

  1. It's possible but you will have no wiggle room if disembarking is delayed for any reason. Check your schedule - it will list what time the ship docks, but that's not when passengers can leave. Walk-off (where you carry all your luggage with you) usually begins around 7:30 but that assumes several things. For example, we were delayed a couple hours on my last cruise because Customs and Border Patrol were not ready.
  2. You will be fine. Breakfast options open early for port days - the Windjammer is usually open at 6:30 or 7:00 am and the coffee/snack bar (called "Cafe Latitudes" if you're on a smaller ship - the coffee costs extra but the snacks are free) is open 24/7. Also, Room Service for continental breakfast (coffee, tea, bagels, cereal, yogurt, etc.) is free and can be ordered as early as you'd like. Plan to give yourself, say, 45 minutes to get to the Windjammer, have a nice breakfast, go back to your room to brush teeth/grab day pack and tickets, then go to the meeting place (which is usually the theater).
  3. There are a lot of newer bartenders who are measuring carefully and still learning the non-measured (ice, mixers) side of things. I want to reiterate there is NO WAY anyone is watering down bottles of booze but there is a difference in proof that - when combined with a carefully measure pour - can create a weak-tasting drink.
  4. Check with the hotel to see if they offer shuttle service - many do for about $20 to $30 per person. It's a little more than a cab or Uber (depending on where your hotel is) but you don't have to worry about luggage capacity.
  5. Look into the train from Civitavecchia to Rome Termini Station. It's less than half the price of a cab and - depending on the schedule - takes less time. Either way you'll have a great time.
  6. How many people in your party? We enjoy the train from Port to Rome but there's only two of us.
  7. Snacks are complimentary but don't know about the milkshakes.
  8. Talk to the head waiter or maitre' D on the first day. I am very sodium-restricted and have had no issues so long as I maintain reasonable expectations. The kitchen can provide sauces, dressings, etc. on the side, and in the MDR we pre-ordered the next night's dinner so the kitchen could adjust. NOTE: on some items like soups, braised meals, etc. the kitchen can't adjust so that's where "reasonable expectations" come in. Some nights I ate a grilled chicken breast, baked potato and steamed veggies... but usually one of the entrees could be made salt-free. Also you can request fresh fruit for dessert.
  9. It's been doing that for several days and they says they're aware of it.
  10. I do not personally get seasick but some who do recommend ginger candies (the bars serve ginger beer as well, which covers the carbonation); fresh air on deck including looking at the horizon (or another focus line that does not move); green apples like granny smith (Windjammer has these available); and the behind-the-ear patches. Best of luck and a smooth cruise!
  11. Not sure the benefits are what you think they are, nor the hourly rate. For example, these folks pay for uniforms (at a discounted rate) as well as washing them (laundry is not included for crew); and work 12 to 16 hours per day with no days off. An average hourly "year" is 2,000, so to do the math, working 3,200 hours per year works out to $10 an hour before taxes, costs etc. come out.
  12. On the web site and yes, I have tried saving to pdf, shrinking the jpeg and re-loading... I will keep trying. To the note above, yes I will need to put in the specific details 72 hours prior to embarkation, but I should be able to upload the vax forms online ahead of time. If it's still wonky today I will try to contact them.
  13. The AlCan site is having difficulties, too - we are on Ovation 9/2 and I cannot upload out vax cards for love or money... keep getting an error message even though I've resized, tried different formats, etc. I have an email in to their Tech Support and will see what comes from it.
  14. They may brew it fresh in the MDR (kitchens who brew their own have industrial 3-gallon brewers that are the same as coffee systems) but I don't think so. However, someone who knows what they're doing might at least be making it in the MDR... or the machines may be cleaned more stringently.
  15. Hey folks - does anyone know if the "buy one specialty dining get one free" offered on cruise nights 1 and 2 can be split for solo travelers? So pay for one night's specialty meal but get the second one free?
  16. Yes and no - the MDR does not have to-go containers but they will give you a covered plate. We often put in an order a cheese plate "to go" at the end of our dinner to go back and enjoy with a final glass of wine on the balcony. NOTE: these suckers are not the easiest thing in the world to balance so be mindful of how much you'd be carrying. Also you can carry out food from the Windjammer and even request the plate be wrapped in plastic, but same caution...
  17. So long as you have your room number you can get a drink. We usually look for a quiet corner of the R Bar to sit with our carry-ons and have a few while waiting for the rooms to open. Many travelers head right to the pool deck so the "inside spaces" (R Bar, the Schooner Lounge, the Casino if there's a bar tender there yet) are often quiet. As a side note, I usually pick one or two bar tenders as I always tip... they quickly come to know my drinks order
  18. Couple notes: if you can catch a shuttle between the ship and the train station it's a good idea as the port is pretty industrial - a 20 minute walk is a good assumption but much of it is not a pedestrian-friendly area. The trains are terrific and a cab between Termini Station and the Vatican shouldn't be more than $15-$20 each way. The tricky part is getting back.... give yourself time. If you miss the train it's about $120 for the cab and takes a lot longer than the train. Finally, if you're running late from the Civi train station there should be taxis for about $10 to drive you direct to the ship.
  19. Anyone know how many Royal cruisers have reached Pinnacle status?
  20. As someone who brings wine on board and also gets it via our C&A level, I have never been charged a corkage fee when carrying a full bottle into the MDR.
  21. I'm only going to state this once and then I'm tagging out, as I don't wish things to devolve: vaccines do not create a impermeable bubble around the person vaccinated. They simply make any COVID-based illness one contracts potentially less severe, in part through reducing viral load because one's immune system recognizes and therefore it more efficient combatting the virus. Reduced viral load also reduces transmission of the virus. Simply: an unvaccinated person who is carrying the virus carries it longer; deeper in their respiratory system; sheds more viral particles; and has a greater incidence of viral particles to shed. This includes to fully vaccinated passengers, who can then contract a potentially milder form of the disease. However, COVID-19 *REGARDLESS OF SEVERITY* has shown a significant chance of follow-on issues including so-called "Long COVID" and other concerns. ("Significant" in the statistical meaning, e.g., a 2.5 to 5 percent incidence of severe long-term effects that increases further with each diagnosis). Each person should consider their own risk factors and health concerns - as well as those around them - to determine what if any decisions they make regarding exposure. Cruise if you want to - I am, masked up where possible. But don't put out there "it's not harmful" because that is not true.
  22. Palma de Mallorca (once you actually get out of the terminal - longest walk EVER) has a hop on/hop off stop directly out the terminal exit doors. Look for the red "pillar" at the bus stop, pretty much straight ahead.
  23. Chocolate is always popular since they can eat it or trade it or give it away.
  24. It doesn't ordinarily take this long -another effect of the pandemic and service slowdowns. I live in Chicago, which has a full-service passport office, and got my previous one done in a day.
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